"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Cheer & Other Holiday Ramblings

The aforementioned cookie swap went well! All us ladies crowded around my coffee table, drank spiced cider, ate buffalo chicken dip, and just chatted (with my Christmas tree sparkling in the background). Plus, HELLO, tons of amazing cookies! My only wish is that others could have come (5 ladies showed up though, which was more than enough for a successful hang out party). I'll definitely do it again next year, no matter where we are.

All my Christmas shopping is DONE! I have a few more packages to send out to friends and family, and maybe a couple small things to put in my husband's stocking but for the most part everything has been completed. It's definitely taken some of the burden off by being able to give some homemade gifts. I spent a lot of the time my husband was deployed hanging around the Farmer's Market and whipping together some preserved treats, as well as making lots of Christmas ornaments. Last week I also made a batch of dog cookies to give to my husband's aunt and our friends in Florida who have some four-legged children.

This year Christmas is a bit bittersweet; we've decided to nix any travel plans and just spend Christmas here in North Carolina with some friends who are staying as well. I'm excited to start our own Christmas traditions and spend it with our own little Marine Corps family but I'm a little sad to not spend time with our family back home (especially our parents).

Other than that I've just been trying to plan out our Christmas menu. My best friend and her husband will be returning from a cruise so we'll be feeding their tummies as well! I'm trying not to stress too bad but I'd like to do something remarkable. Making Christmas memories and all that jazz.

Well, that's it for now. A merry Christmas season to all!

xoxo Stacie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The lost art of the cookie swap...

I was daydreaming about Christmas cookies yesterday, specifically the cookie walk at my great aunt's church. You paid three dollars, they gave you a coffee can covered in pretty paper and you walked down the huge table of cookies and pointed at which ones you wanted in your container. Every year I looked forward to this event when my mother and I visited all the Christmas church fairs. It was the best feeling to walk out the door with a can of home baked cookies without having to bake an entire batch of each one. Surely, I thought, I could do something like this and get back that feeling of tradition?

I answered, COOKIE SWAP! My friend and I ran to Wal-Mart for a few things and I found the most perfect paper for invitations (gingerbread men!). Last night I wrote them up (including rules, of course) and my husband was pretty impressed. Sometimes he forgets my momma raised me on Martha Stewart. So now I, although excited, feel a hint of anxiety because this is the first "get-together" I've hosted as an adult. I've invited about 8 women and I hope they all come and have a great time. I'm just glad to have my apartment filled with wonderful people enjoying the Christmas spirit and the smell of cookies.

Now...any tips on what to do with my husband from 1:00-4:00 on December 4th?

xoxo Stacie

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'll sleep when I'm dead!!!

Lately it seems falling asleep at a normal hour is just not in the cards for me. Let's get this one thing straight; I'm an old lady. I like going to bed early and waking up early and it makes me the constant butt of jokes by my girlfriends but it's just the way I am. The last week has had me up until the wee hours of the morning, though. I am sure I am a sight to see when I wake up at quarter of five and pack my husband's lunch box.

Anywho, to the root of the problem. I try to plan out and strategize for every life change and it near kills me. If over-thinking things were an Olympic sport I would definitely take home the gold. As all military spouses know (or learn) this is an impossible thing to do with our changing on a dime lifestyle. So here we are at a crossroads. My husband is now a short-timer (he has less than a year left in his active duty contract) and we are attempting to make some sort of shoddy life plan but it is just nearing impossible. It's a lot of, "well, we COULD do this, unless this happens, then we could do that...", which means we end up going around in a lot of circles. I am a meticulous planner and he is a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy and therefore he says, "Let's go with it, if it doesn't work out we can change our plans and figure it out", and I'm very much more having convulsions in the corner.

So do we re-enlist? Extend for a possible deployment? Have a baby now when it's free? Wait until the military is behind us? Buy a house? Rent? Move back home?

Oi vey, I think I'll put all the possible answers in a hat and pick one out. Good to go.

xoxo Stacie

Friday, November 5, 2010

Why, Hello There!

Introductions have never been my strong point. Thankfully for all of us the computer screen takes away most of my social awkwardness. Let's begin then, shall we?

My name is Stacie, and I'm a little country girl married to an active duty infantry marine. All that really tells you is that I can (sometimes) swear like a sailor and know an incredible amount of dirty jokes. In all seriousness, being a military wife has taught me a lot about myself and I wouldn't trade any of the experiences I've had for anything. I'm also the daughter of two hobby farmers. They have both taught me so much about livestock and homesteading and for that I am always thankful. My grandmother taught me to cook when I was little and the memories I have of spending time in the kitchen with her are what fuel my passions for cooking and baking.  Simple things in life make me happy; like a good book, comfy armchair and a cup of tea.

I currently reside in a little apartment just outside of Camp Lejeune with my husband and miniature Dachshund, Sookie.  Being used to acres of land and easily accessible woods has made apartment living quite the adjustment for both of us. Soon enough (nine months, not that I'm counting) we will return to the wilderness, but for now we're just biding our time until we can head back home. Even in an apartment I've found a way to keep things country! I've taken on canning as a past time as well as knitting and keeping an herb garden (balcony sized, of course).

Now that we're introduced we can get on to much nobler topics like book reviews, canning tutorials, recipes, and daily ramblings. I hope you'll stick by and continue to read about all the things going on in our little household.

Lots of love,